First car for child

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StevieG72
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First car for child

Post by StevieG72 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:48 am

So the kiddo will be driving soon, curious how Bogleheads tackle the first car for their kids.

I want a safe car, and of course the newer cars are safer. I really like the 2019 Camry and feel like it could be a great first car that would last many years.

Do not want a cheap compact car as I do not feel they are safe.

I could buy a used Corolla with low miles for around $16,000 or a few thousand more a used Camry which is a much nicer car in my opinion.

So I am leaning towards a nice used Camry.

While much of the decision boils down to personal preference and budget, looking for insight from some veteran parents.
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mmmodem
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Re: First car for child

Post by mmmodem » Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:54 am

If your budget is $25k for a Camry, I'd get a RAV4 for the kiddo. I don't know how they compare in terms of safety. The RAV4 has a smaller foot print than a Camry. For a new driver this will help immensely, especially with parking. The RAV4 will also have higher visibility. Again, that is helpful for new drivers to see better.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: First car for child

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:57 am

A car with air bags and seat belts that when they crash it, it's no big because.....they will crash it.
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alrick
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Re: First car for child

Post by alrick » Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:00 am

Confirm the RAV4. We looked around extensively for our granddaughter's first car and settled on a 2016 RAV4 that came in off a lease......34,000 miles and certified by Toyota dealer....paid $19,000 for the upside model. Safety, performance, reliability, all wheel drive, and sitting higher for visibility were key factors for us. She has had the vehicle now for nearly six months and all is working fine......should last her through high school and college years.

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WWJBDo
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Re: First car for child

Post by WWJBDo » Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:12 am

We've always handed down our existing cars. The 2001 Avalon went to the kids when we bought a Lexus in 2007. That Avalon is still on the road and doing well. The Lexus went to our other child when we got the 2012 Genesis. We just exchanged the Genesis for the Avalon, while we look at new vehicles again.

Reasons to consider a used/older car:
1. Crash data: https://aaafoundation.org/rates-motor-v ... 2014-2015/
2. Dings / minor fender benders won't matter too much. An older vehicle makes for less stressful driving.
3. Classmates will like them for themselves, not for their possessions.
4. There are opportunities to fix up things- polishing chrome, sheepskin seat covers, etc. Those are opportunities to get involved in projects with the kids.
5. When they go out on their own, they will consider a used car. If you get them a new car now, then a used car will seem like a step backwards to them. It's analogous to flying business as a teen and in your 20's- hard to go back to economy.

If you don't want to hand off one of your cars (and I didn't hand down the Turbo Sonata- that went too fast) then you have even more options.

If you do get a new car, then put an emphasis on pedestrian detection, etc, since that is the greatest risk with new drivers.
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Thegame14
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Re: First car for child

Post by Thegame14 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:24 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:57 am
A car with air bags and seat belts that when they crash it, it's no big because.....they will crash it.
+1 a new car for a new driver is asking for trouble. Id say more like a 8-10 year old camry is a good option.

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Re: First car for child

Post by Cycle » Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:54 am

Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic. Not fancy, easy to park, safety features
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Kenkat
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Re: First car for child

Post by Kenkat » Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:59 am

We’ve let our two kids drive the hand me down cars. Depending on what you are currently driving, I would either hand that down or look for something used 5-6 years old or so. The latest safety features are nice but modern cars are already very safe overall.

Nowizard
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Re: First car for child

Post by Nowizard » Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:03 am

Two keys: 1. Your child, unless extremely entitled which is not likely, will be happy with whatever you purchase but will have ideas if asked. To ask what others are "getting" could be helpful as long as you make it clear that is for information, not a popularity contest unless it meets your parameters. 2. To focus on safety is the way to go. That eliminates open Jeeps, overly small vehicles, etc. Not to be overly cynical, but most teenagers do have fender benders at one time or another. Insurance will be expensive for any vehicle, but more for newer ones, of course. Newer vehicles have more safety features, and one that would have saved several fender benders in our circle of friends would be a back-up camera.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: First car for child

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:12 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:24 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:57 am
A car with air bags and seat belts that when they crash it, it's no big because.....they will crash it.
+1 a new car for a new driver is asking for trouble. Id say more like a 8-10 year old camry is a good option.
+2

And if "driving soon," I would not be in a rush. Maybe after another couple of years.

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Re: First car for child

Post by Spirit Rider » Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:40 pm

Nowizard wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:03 am
Newer vehicles have more safety features, and one that would have saved several fender benders in our circle of friends would be a back-up camera.
In my anecdotal circle, backup cameras have not provided any panacea for inexperienced drivers. Friends and family have had a rash of backup fender benders by teenagers in their newer cars with backup cameras.

First, the backup camera frame of reference change is difficult to master for young drivers and backup cameras and even mirrors are no substitute to actually looking in the direction the driver is actually backup. Technology can actually breed bad driving habits. One friend's teenager when admonished for following to closely replied; "The emergency braking system will stop in time." :oops:

sport
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Re: First car for child

Post by sport » Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:43 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:12 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:24 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:57 am
A car with air bags and seat belts that when they crash it, it's no big because.....they will crash it.
+1 a new car for a new driver is asking for trouble. Id say more like a 8-10 year old camry is a good option.
+2

And if "driving soon," I would not be in a rush. Maybe after another couple of years.
+3
Just because a new driver has passed their driving test, it does not mean that they really know how to drive. It takes experience to learn to anticipate what other drivers might do. It is beneficial for them to drive with a learner's license for a year or so. Neither of my children had their own car until they graduated from college. By that age, they were safe drivers.

btenny
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Re: First car for child

Post by btenny » Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:57 pm

I second or third the hand me down car idea if you have older cars. Give your kid the old car and buy yourself a new car. This gives them transportation for a few years and teaches them thrift.

But if you need to buy a car for your kid I am a big fan of small 2 door pickups for young kids. Small trucks limit your kid to 1-2 passengers so less driving distractions. Newer model small trucks are safe and come with the latest safety equipment. A used small truck is $18K or so. They last forever and hold their resale value. Small trucks are not fast or cool so there is limited ability to speed or drive reckless. Small trucks are great for hauling around all that kid stuff when they go off to college or move to that first apartment or need to help friends do a move. Plus you can get your kid to help you occasionally with his/her small truck for your chores as well. They are just good vehicles for kids.

Good Luck.

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MrBobcat
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Re: First car for child

Post by MrBobcat » Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:57 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:57 am
A car with air bags and seat belts that when they crash it, it's no big because.....they will crash it.
^This. Been there, daughter rolled her car and one son hit a deer. Cars were totaled, kids were fine.

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MrBobcat
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Re: First car for child

Post by MrBobcat » Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:18 pm

StevieG72 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:48 am
So the kiddo will be driving soon, curious how Bogleheads tackle the first car for their kids.

I want a safe car, and of course the newer cars are safer. I really like the 2019 Camry and feel like it could be a great first car that would last many years.

Do not want a cheap compact car as I do not feel they are safe.

I could buy a used Corolla with low miles for around $16,000 or a few thousand more a used Camry which is a much nicer car in my opinion.

So I am leaning towards a nice used Camry.

While much of the decision boils down to personal preference and budget, looking for insight from some veteran parents.
I've been through a lot of cars with the kids. One thing to keep in mind is an older car with just liability is way cheaper to insure. I was able to get by with relatively cheap cars (still safe) for the kids as not much driving was necessary as we live in a small town and other than to and from college (less than 175 miles one way) there was not much concern. I'd have thought differently if we lived in a big city.

That being said all the cars were at least 10 years old when we bought them with the exception of the Camry as it was and emergency hand me down situation.

1995 Ford Escort wagon - great car till my daughter rolled it, she then got my wifes old 1996 Toyota Avalon and drove it till it was dead a couple of years ago, then we sold her my wifes 2009 Fit at a family discount.

1997 VW Jetta, the newest most expensive (kids car) and biggest money pit of any car we have ever owned. Hated that car, finally died when it chewed through a bunch of gears (yeah I'm sure my son's driving had something to do with it). Bought him a 1995 olds 98, great, great car... till he totaled hitting a deer. Then he took my hand me down 2004 Camry and he still drives it with 240,000 miles on it. I did make him buy it from me when he graduated college and he actually looked the value up on Kelly Blue Book to make sure I was giving him a good deal on it, lol.

3rd kid got a 1995 subaru impreza, drove to 165,000 before it blew a rod, then we got him a cheap 1995 Ford Escort Wagon to finish up college with. He wanted a new car for when he graduated and being he was our cheapest college kid we gave him $10K to put down on a Forester.

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Re: First car for child

Post by gmc4h232 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:21 pm

Anything that is affectionately known as "the boat" should be safe enough. 90s buicks come to mind, or maybe an old mercury grand marquis. Lets get real, they are going to destroy it, dont put any money into it.

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Re: First car for child

Post by alec » Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:27 pm

Our 17 yo got my wife’s Honda Pilot (she got a newer car), and we told him that if he crashes that car, he’d be riding his bike. Also, he’s paying for the increase in the car insurance.
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MrBobcat
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Re: First car for child

Post by MrBobcat » Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:27 pm

gmc4h232 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:21 pm
Anything that is affectionately known as "the boat" should be safe enough. 90s buicks come to mind, or maybe an old mercury grand marquis. Lets get real, they are going to destroy it, dont put any money into it.
I'd buy a 90s buick/olds again in a heartbeat. My son's had the 3.8L engine, darn thing got close to 30 mpg on the highway.

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Re: First car for child

Post by yogesh » Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:49 pm

Used compact SUV like CrossTrek, HRV, CX3, Tuscon, SX4
Look for one with automatic breaking based on camera/radar and that should help avoid hitting someone.
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A440
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Re: First car for child

Post by A440 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:59 pm

Cars can be replaced if totaled, kids can not. Check out the IIHS.org for crash test ratings and purchase the safest car that meets your needs and won't put you in debt.
We chose a Subaru. FWIW, it is cheaper to insure than many other vehicles.
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cherijoh
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Re: First car for child

Post by cherijoh » Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:34 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:40 pm
Nowizard wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:03 am
Newer vehicles have more safety features, and one that would have saved several fender benders in our circle of friends would be a back-up camera.
In my anecdotal circle, backup cameras have not provided any panacea for inexperienced drivers. Friends and family have had a rash of backup fender benders by teenagers in their newer cars with backup cameras.

First, the backup camera frame of reference change is difficult to master for young drivers and backup cameras and even mirrors are no substitute to actually looking in the direction the driver is actually backup. Technology can actually breed bad driving habits. One friend's teenager when admonished for following to closely replied; "The emergency braking system will stop in time." :oops:
The backup camera may not help all that much with fender benders, because quite often it is a moving car (not a stationary one) that is the issue. (People fly through the parking lot!) But the audible cross-traffic detector does help a lot for that. My 2010 Ford Fusion came with 3 enhanced safety features - the two I mentioned plus a blind spot indicator. I'm very pleased with the safety features on my car.

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6miths
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Re: First car for child

Post by 6miths » Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:04 pm

Four kids. Everyone of them has had an accident of some kind. Kids' car is a Hyundai Elantra GT. The poor thing. The two girls had the more serious accidents but all single vehicle thankfully and not anything that would deploy airbags. 20-year-old younger son was accident free until last week when he hit a deer on a back road. Took out the headlight and dented hood and front quarter panel. Our cherished 2007 Acura CSX Type S with 200k on it. Replacement will be a Subaru Impreza with Eyesight which I have been thinking of for quite awhile. I agree with reliable, small, used Japanese/Korean with no collision to keep costs down. I like the Subarus as they have reverse automatic braking and so many nuisance accidents are low speed scuffs in reverse. I totally agree that reverse cameras are no substitute for actually looking behind you before reversing.
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Re: First car for child

Post by gator1 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:39 pm

Personally, I think most kids don't appreciate something unless they have worked for it. Have your kid get a job and then do a $1 for $1 match with them, then whatever they save up match it. Then look for cars in that price range. When I was 15 I got a job, worked weekends, then worked the entire summer. By the time it was over I had $8,000 saved up and bought a nice Camaro with it. While my parents didn't match it, I still had a pretty nice car. I can't imagine what a $16,000 car would've felt like then.

You can get a nice used Lexus around $15,000. If you don't want the child to have a fast Lexus, look at the ES's for sedans (same size as a Camry). I have the GS and it scoots to 60mph in about 4.8 seconds. When I drive my friends ES I feel like I just got in a prius acceleration wise.

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StevieG72
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Re: First car for child

Post by StevieG72 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:27 pm

Many of the responses reinforce my feelings about a first car, it will probably be in an accident!

I currently drive a 2016 4-Runner, not a good vehicle to pass on to the kiddo.

The pre collision system feature is something I would like the car to have.

Insurance is another consideration.

As far as my child working for the car, I would rather her focus on her grades in high school and college. I had to work to buy my first car and understand the thought process behind the concept.

Ideally I would like to purchase a car before she gets her learners permit, want her to learn to drive in the car she will be driving.
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dm200
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Re: First car for child

Post by dm200 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:37 am

Thegame14 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:24 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:57 am
A car with air bags and seat belts that when they crash it, it's no big because.....they will crash it.
+1 a new car for a new driver is asking for trouble. Id say more like a 8-10 year old camry is a good option.
I agree.

If available, maybe a manual transmission as well. :happy

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RootSki
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Re: First car for child

Post by RootSki » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:44 am

Any Volvo 2008+

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Re: First car for child

Post by lazydavid » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:18 am

I'm in the hand-me-down camp. My 12-year-old will be getting my 2011 BMW 335d when the time comes.

If I was buying a new car for him based on today's options, it would probably be a Kia Niro or Hyundai Kona. Practical, yet small and good fuel economy, solid safety features in the mid-$20k range.

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dm200
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Re: First car for child

Post by dm200 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:24 am

Explore (with your auto insurance company) the pros and cons of having this car owned by the child AND with separate insurance from the "family" insurance. Short term - I believe the costs are lower with being on the same family auto insurance, BUT there may be lower costs over a longer period AND lower financial risks to you - for having separate ownership and auto insurance.

Those details may differ a lot by both your location and your insurance company.

unstartable
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Re: First car for child

Post by unstartable » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:30 am

I'm a high school teacher so I see and hear a lot about teenage driving. My advise would be an older compact or midsize sedan with a base 4 cylinder engine and automatic transmission. Something with front wheel drive and stability control. Do not buy your kid an AWD car. Something like a 2012 Ford Fusion for about $8000 would be the sweet spot, or the more expensive Honda Civic or Accord, or Toyota Carolla or Camry equivalents.

Set strict limits with your kids. Make sure they follow the law (especially regarding the restricted license in your state). And most importantly drive with them a lot. They need to form strong habits related to safety.
Last edited by unstartable on Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First car for child

Post by alfaspider » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:31 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:57 am
A car with air bags and seat belts that when they crash it, it's no big because.....they will crash it.
It's a tradeoff though. A newer car will have better safety features - more airbags, crash avoidance technology like auto-braking, better crumple structures, and stability control that may make the new driver less likely to crash or better protect them in the event of a crash. On the other hand, it's a bigger hit to the wallet. If money were no object, I'd be tempted to put them in a newer car with the very latest safety tech.

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Re: First car for child

Post by alfaspider » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:33 am

unstartable wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:30 am
Do not buy your kid an AWD car.
Why not, other than cost? My closest calls as a new driver came from a RWD car in the snow. Obviously FWD won't spin like RWD, but AWD in inclement weather can be a safety feature.

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dm200
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Re: First car for child

Post by dm200 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:36 am

I have no idea how to deal with this potential risk -

If your child is anything like our son was at that late teens age - he/she may be very unhappy driving such an older "POS" (as my son said about an older Honda Accord we gave him). He did not treat this car very well at all. Eventually, he figured out how to get himself (with his money) a more "suitable" car for him to drive.

That was really too bad - since I got that Honda from the original owner that took great care of it. My wife and I even drove it to NY City and back for a several day business related stay in NY City.

Good Luck!

It is also my opinion and experience that many teen drivers - who eventually become excellent drivers with very, very low risks - often have accidents/crashes in those teen years. I did not have that experience - but my first cousin totaled his parents' car as a teen driver and had one other such accident. The totaling of the parents car was 100% his fault - he hit a tree.

After these "difficult" years - he became an excellent driver and has remained so over the last 50+ years.

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Re: First car for child

Post by gator1 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:42 am

StevieG72 wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:27 pm
Many of the responses reinforce my feelings about a first car, it will probably be in an accident!

I currently drive a 2016 4-Runner, not a good vehicle to pass on to the kiddo.

The pre collision system feature is something I would like the car to have.

Insurance is another consideration.

As far as my child working for the car, I would rather her focus on her grades in high school and college. I had to work to buy my first car and understand the thought process behind the concept.

Ideally I would like to purchase a car before she gets her learners permit, want her to learn to drive in the car she will be driving.
You're a good parent. My parents were never in a position to help me out with a first car, so my options were to drive a hand-me-down's hand-me-down's hand-me-down....a super old high mileage Pontiac Grand Am.....or get a job. I went with option 2.

I think you should focus on the mid-size Sedan market. Stay in the Toyota family. A Toyota Camry or a few years old Lexus ES. Deals can be had.

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Re: First car for child

Post by dm200 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:47 am

alfaspider wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:33 am
unstartable wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:30 am
Do not buy your kid an AWD car.
Why not, other than cost? My closest calls as a new driver came from a RWD car in the snow. Obviously FWD won't spin like RWD, but AWD in inclement weather can be a safety feature.
Having grown up in "snow country" - back when all vehicles were RWD - I believe the "key" is driver education and experience in snow. We now live in an area where snow is less frequent - but we occasionally get hit hard. Drivers here have near zero knowledge or snow experience. No matter what type of drive, many tend to just try to navigate by speeding up the wheels. I have "helped" many such folks over the years - who got stuck - by taking things very slow and easy - often rocking back and forth in the snow - to get out of being "stuck".

FWD is a real plus these days over the old RWD.

In my opinion, in such snow, most (but not all) drivers with AWD or 4WD are very over confidant about snow safety and drive much too fast for safety.

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Re: First car for child

Post by lazydavid » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:49 am

alfaspider wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:33 am
unstartable wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:30 am
Do not buy your kid an AWD car.
Why not, other than cost? My closest calls as a new driver came from a RWD car in the snow. Obviously FWD won't spin like RWD, but AWD in inclement weather can be a safety feature.
If I had to guess, it's due to the false sense of security that the better traction during acceleration can evoke. AWD can get going quicker when it's slippery than an otherwise-similar FWD or RWD car. But they can't stop or turn any better, and may in fact be worse due to the extra weight. So a young driver may be apt to drive faster than conditions really allow, just because everything seems fine when they're leaving a stoplight.

Some AWD systems can also be damaged when tires of dissimilar sizes are used--as might be the case when one tire has a sidewall puncture and is replaced with a new one while the remaining worn tires are kept.

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Re: First car for child

Post by Hukedonfonix4me » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:16 am

btenny wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:57 pm
But if you need to buy a car for your kid I am a big fan of small 2 door pickups for young kids. Small trucks limit your kid to 1-2 passengers so less driving distractions. Newer model small trucks are safe and come with the latest safety equipment. A used small truck is $18K or so. They last forever and hold their resale value. Small trucks are not fast or cool so there is limited ability to speed or drive reckless. Small trucks are great for hauling around all that kid stuff when they go off to college or move to that first apartment or need to help friends do a move. Plus you can get your kid to help you occasionally with his/her small truck for your chores as well. They are just good vehicles for kids.

Good Luck.
+1000. I intended on writing something very similar.
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Re: First car for child

Post by Spirit Rider » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:30 am

dm200 wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:47 am
In my opinion, in such snow, most (but not all) drivers with AWD or 4WD are very over confidant about snow safety and drive much too fast for safety.
^^^ This.

Four(4)-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive allows you to go faster in unsafe conditions. It does NOT help you stop if you are going too fast for conditions. Also, while it may provide better control in marginal conditions, here again it does not help when you have lost control.

Like many of the recent automated safety features. I fear they will cause new drivers to be overconfident with negative results. Teenagers as a group consider themselves invincible and susceptible to overconfidence in their driving abilities. Especially, if they are relying on technology to save them.

I am not saying these new technologies are always a bad thing for teenagers, but I don't think it justifies buying a new car just to get them. They may not provide the net increase in safety for their teenagers that parents think. When there may be real value in them having to learn how to properly drive without relying on technology as a crutch. The crutch may not always be there to save them from bad driving habits.

Then again, many adults I see driving on the roads have atrocious driving habits. I don't think hardly anybody who received a driver's license in the last 20 years. Even knows there is a directional signal on their vehicle.

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Re: First car for child

Post by MrBobcat » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:13 pm

Hukedonfonix4me wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:16 am
btenny wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:57 pm
But if you need to buy a car for your kid I am a big fan of small 2 door pickups for young kids. Small trucks limit your kid to 1-2 passengers so less driving distractions. Newer model small trucks are safe and come with the latest safety equipment. A used small truck is $18K or so. They last forever and hold their resale value. Small trucks are not fast or cool so there is limited ability to speed or drive reckless. Small trucks are great for hauling around all that kid stuff when they go off to college or move to that first apartment or need to help friends do a move. Plus you can get your kid to help you occasionally with his/her small truck for your chores as well. They are just good vehicles for kids.

Good Luck.
+1000. I intended on writing something very similar.
Um yeah, okay. :D Personal experience whilst younger begs to differ, not only that once 3-4 were crammed into the cab some poor sap ends up having to ride in the truck bed.

alfaspider
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Re: First car for child

Post by alfaspider » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:24 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:47 am
alfaspider wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:33 am
unstartable wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:30 am
Do not buy your kid an AWD car.
Why not, other than cost? My closest calls as a new driver came from a RWD car in the snow. Obviously FWD won't spin like RWD, but AWD in inclement weather can be a safety feature.
Having grown up in "snow country" - back when all vehicles were RWD - I believe the "key" is driver education and experience in snow. We now live in an area where snow is less frequent - but we occasionally get hit hard. Drivers here have near zero knowledge or snow experience. No matter what type of drive, many tend to just try to navigate by speeding up the wheels. I have "helped" many such folks over the years - who got stuck - by taking things very slow and easy - often rocking back and forth in the snow - to get out of being "stuck".

FWD is a real plus these days over the old RWD.

In my opinion, in such snow, most (but not all) drivers with AWD or 4WD are very over confidant about snow safety and drive much too fast for safety.
Overconfidence can certainly be a problem, but so is getting stuck, and I'd rather my kids not be stuck. I had a close call in my FWD car trying to get up a steep hill and sliding backwards. I narrowly avoided sliding into the cars behind. The AWD cars didn't have the same problem.

Experience is clearly helpful in the snow, but it is not the be all and end all. I had a lot of close calls with my old RWD car, and had very few when I bought a new FWD car and snow tires. I wasn't any better at driving- I just had more appropriate equipment.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: First car for child

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:46 pm

MrBobcat wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:13 pm
Hukedonfonix4me wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:16 am
btenny wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:57 pm
But if you need to buy a car for your kid I am a big fan of small 2 door pickups for young kids. Small trucks limit your kid to 1-2 passengers so less driving distractions. Newer model small trucks are safe and come with the latest safety equipment. A used small truck is $18K or so. They last forever and hold their resale value. Small trucks are not fast or cool so there is limited ability to speed or drive reckless. Small trucks are great for hauling around all that kid stuff when they go off to college or move to that first apartment or need to help friends do a move. Plus you can get your kid to help you occasionally with his/her small truck for your chores as well. They are just good vehicles for kids.

Good Luck.
+1000. I intended on writing something very similar.
Um yeah, okay. :D Personal experience whilst younger begs to differ, not only that once 3-4 were crammed into the cab some poor sap ends up having to ride in the truck bed.
Yep. Often more than one poor sap. The law of unintended consequences looms large.

shess
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Re: First car for child

Post by shess » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:02 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:34 pm
Spirit Rider wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:40 pm
Nowizard wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:03 am
Newer vehicles have more safety features, and one that would have saved several fender benders in our circle of friends would be a back-up camera.
In my anecdotal circle, backup cameras have not provided any panacea for inexperienced drivers. Friends and family have had a rash of backup fender benders by teenagers in their newer cars with backup cameras.

First, the backup camera frame of reference change is difficult to master for young drivers and backup cameras and even mirrors are no substitute to actually looking in the direction the driver is actually backup. Technology can actually breed bad driving habits. One friend's teenager when admonished for following to closely replied; "The emergency braking system will stop in time." :oops:
The backup camera may not help all that much with fender benders, because quite often it is a moving car (not a stationary one) that is the issue. (People fly through the parking lot!) But the audible cross-traffic detector does help a lot for that. My 2010 Ford Fusion came with 3 enhanced safety features - the two I mentioned plus a blind spot indicator. I'm very pleased with the safety features on my car.
Anecdotally, someone in my household specifically got a Rav4 with all the backup sensors and whatnot, and that vehicle has taken the majority of the damage in our household. There is no substitute for actually paying attention, just because the indicator isn't beeping at you doesn't mean it's safe to proceed.

Personally, I find the various warnings and whatnot distracting, because while I'm paying attention to what's actually going on, some random warning is beeping at me trying to call my attention away from what's actually going on. There are cases where a sensor can see things I can't see, but sometimes I feel like I'm in danger of no longer listening to the beeps because they're excessive. There are also cases where one sensor is demanding all the attention, but that's not actually where the danger is. I can see the benefit, but I'm honestly conflicted as to whether this new world of "helpful" sensors and indicators is actually a positive for new drivers.

btenny
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Re: First car for child

Post by btenny » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:20 pm

Well in Phoenix (and everywhere out west) it is illegal to have any person ride back in the open bed back of a pickup. They stopped letting people ride back there a long time ago after some bad wrecks.

My oldest kid (over 40 now) drove a small sedan and wrecked that when someone pulled out in front of him. Then his sister wrecked his replacement sedan when she rear ended a big truck. So then I got him a small pickup and he drove that for 10 years or more. He really enjoyed that truck. Plus he used it every day and made lots of money delivering stuff when he was young. So it mostly funded his early fun single lifestyle.

So yes I think small trucks are very good for young kids.

I also recommend a driving log for young kids while they learn to drive under adult supervision. I made my kids log 100 hours of driving with me with their learners permit in all kinds of conditions from busy freeways to back dirt roads to the local streets. It made my son a better safer driver. He did not have his first at fault wreck for years. My daughter did not learn as much but was an OK driver after those 100 hours. So kids are different but they learn with lots of wheel time. .

Good Luck.

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MrBobcat
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Re: First car for child

Post by MrBobcat » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:26 pm

btenny wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:20 pm
Well in Phoenix (and everywhere out west) it is illegal to have any person ride back in the open bed back of a pickup. They stopped letting people ride back there a long time ago after some bad wrecks.

My oldest kid (over 40 now) drove a small sedan and wrecked that when someone pulled out in front of him. Then his sister wrecked his replacement sedan when she rear ended a big truck. So then I got him a small pickup and he drove that for 10 years or more. He really enjoyed that truck. Plus he used it every day and made lots of money delivering stuff when he was young. So it mostly funded his early fun single lifestyle.

So yes I think small trucks are very good for young kids.

I also recommend a driving log for young kids while they learn to drive under adult supervision. I made my kids log 100 hours of driving with me with their learners permit in all kinds of conditions from busy freeways to back dirt roads to the local streets. It made my son a better safer driver. He did not have his first at fault wreck for years. My daughter did not learn as much but was an OK driver after those 100 hours. So kids are different but they learn with lots of wheel time. .

Good Luck.
Yes and teenagers never do anything illegal. Not that a small truck is inappropriate or a bad thing, just don't delude oneself that it safer.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: First car for child

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:03 pm

btenny wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:57 pm
I second or third the hand me down car idea if you have older cars. Give your kid the old car and buy yourself a new car. This gives them transportation for a few years and teaches them thrift.

But if you need to buy a car for your kid I am a big fan of small 2 door pickups for young kids. Small trucks limit your kid to 1-2 passengers so less driving distractions. Newer model small trucks are safe and come with the latest safety equipment. A used small truck is $18K or so. They last forever and hold their resale value. Small trucks are not fast or cool so there is limited ability to speed or drive reckless. Small trucks are great for hauling around all that kid stuff when they go off to college or move to that first apartment or need to help friends do a move. Plus you can get your kid to help you occasionally with his/her small truck for your chores as well. They are just good vehicles for kids.

Good Luck.
A daughter bought a Nissan Hard-body truck for her first vehicle. Put over 150,000 miles on it, she replaced it with a Camry. The only reason she replaced it was because she was expecting their first child, and a car seat in the front is a no-no. She has over 260,000 miles on her Camry, still in good shape. She had at least 4 fender benders in her truck, one on the way home from picking up her truck from the body shop from an earlier wreck. :oops: Progressive insurance was great, just kicked up the premium each year. Never got cancelled.

Daughters learned to drive in my Nissan Sentra, a stick-shift. At one time we had 4 Nissans, they were great cars. No idea about their quality today.

If needed, I will certainly help fund a good, safe vehicle for the grandchildren. I am kinda fond of them.

Safety is foremost in these type situations, IMHO. A vehicle 2-3 years old would probably have some of the most recent safety features. I definitely wouldn't want them driving a POS when so many other possibilities are available. Money well spent.

Broken Man 1999




Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

cherijoh
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Location: Charlotte NC

Re: First car for child

Post by cherijoh » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:07 pm

shess wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:02 pm
cherijoh wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:34 pm
Spirit Rider wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:40 pm
Nowizard wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:03 am
Newer vehicles have more safety features, and one that would have saved several fender benders in our circle of friends would be a back-up camera.
In my anecdotal circle, backup cameras have not provided any panacea for inexperienced drivers. Friends and family have had a rash of backup fender benders by teenagers in their newer cars with backup cameras.

First, the backup camera frame of reference change is difficult to master for young drivers and backup cameras and even mirrors are no substitute to actually looking in the direction the driver is actually backup. Technology can actually breed bad driving habits. One friend's teenager when admonished for following to closely replied; "The emergency braking system will stop in time." :oops:
The backup camera may not help all that much with fender benders, because quite often it is a moving car (not a stationary one) that is the issue. (People fly through the parking lot!) But the audible cross-traffic detector does help a lot for that. My 2010 Ford Fusion came with 3 enhanced safety features - the two I mentioned plus a blind spot indicator. I'm very pleased with the safety features on my car.
Anecdotally, someone in my household specifically got a Rav4 with all the backup sensors and whatnot, and that vehicle has taken the majority of the damage in our household. There is no substitute for actually paying attention, just because the indicator isn't beeping at you doesn't mean it's safe to proceed.

Personally, I find the various warnings and whatnot distracting, because while I'm paying attention to what's actually going on, some random warning is beeping at me trying to call my attention away from what's actually going on. There are cases where a sensor can see things I can't see, but sometimes I feel like I'm in danger of no longer listening to the beeps because they're excessive. There are also cases where one sensor is demanding all the attention, but that's not actually where the danger is. I can see the benefit, but I'm honestly conflicted as to whether this new world of "helpful" sensors and indicators is actually a positive for new drivers.
The cross traffic detector is very helpful IMO. I have a sedan and when I get back out to my car, more than half the time I am now parked between 2 full-size SUVs even though I purposefully parked beween 2 sedans. :annoyed I cautiously back up enough for the detector to work. It does have some false positives (where the cross traffic is one ailse over) but it has saved me from several accidents when the other car was speeding through the parking lot and I had no way to see them until it would have been too late.

I do agree that some of the auto-braking technology could make a new driver too complaisant.

Just out of curiousity, did more than one driver have an accident with your Rav4? If it was a single driver (or multiple inexperienced drivers) you have no way of knowing if you would have had more accidents without the technology. :wink:

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dm200
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Re: First car for child

Post by dm200 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:11 pm

Well in Phoenix (and everywhere out west) it is illegal to have any person ride back in the open bed back of a pickup.
Whether legal or not - very unsafe, to say the least.

However, when I was in High School - the legal drinking age was then 18 - although I was still for many months after I graduated.

One classmate had a nice (for then) pickup truck - and we would have several guys in the back of the pickup truck - riding all over the County hitting many bars. :oops:

bloom2708
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Re: First car for child

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:16 pm

2 teen drivers here (3rd future driver is 12). Oldest totaled one car (another driver ran a red light in town, not daughters fault) and had 1 minor fender bender. Middle kid turned in front of a car and it hit the passenger door. Nice dent. Fixed.

I suggest a "liability only" car worth $5,000 to $10k. Something you won't mind seeing get dented and dinged. School parking lots are filled with inexperienced drivers. Both cars have some school parking lot dings and scrapes.

I would not buy a new car for a new teen driver. Some do. Most cars in the past 5-7 years have enough safety features. The other reason to go used is kids typically put on 2,3,4k miles max in a year. All in town driving.

If they go 2 years with no accidents/fender benders, then an upgrade might be warranted. Insurance on a new car for a new teen driver would be not good. Some insurances pool drivers. Some insurance companies assign a driver to a specific car. That is the type we have. Sally is driving a 2011 Ford Escape AWD with 110k miles. Liability only. It has a lower affect on other cars in the family.
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shess
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Re: First car for child

Post by shess » Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:01 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:07 pm
Just out of curiousity, did more than one driver have an accident with your Rav4? If it was a single driver (or multiple inexperienced drivers) you have no way of knowing if you would have had more accidents without the technology. :wink:
Unfortunately, the person who wanted all the technology is the one who's had the fender benders, and they've been at fault for them (mostly they were scraping and bumping structures, not vehicles). I agree with you, it is possible that we'd have had more accidents without the technology - as it is, what we had was a sit-down talk about whether there was something wrong, and that maybe more attention needed to be paid for where vehicles were parked, and, somehow, there have not been additional incidents.

{It was an experienced driver. And the feeling you get when you leave the house and see a deep scrape running down the entire side of an expensive vehicle which is only a few months old is quite impossible to describe...}

psteinx
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Re: First car for child

Post by psteinx » Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:09 pm

To the extent that OP's financial situation can handle a range of choices, I suggest OP look at safety-oriented web sites, especially IIHS.

Yes, a bigger vehicle, all else equal, has some advantages. And a cheaper vehicle is nice, economically and in terms of regrets if it is damaged. But big and cheap often intersect at "old".

And with "old", it's hard to get newer safety features. In particular, automatic braking seems like a big one to me. It's pretty easy to find in new cars, but will likely be much harder to find in cars even 5 years old (yes, there may be a few such used cars, but still, hard to find).

It's nice to minimize physical injury and economic regret if your kid is in an accident. But what's nicer still is if your kid avoids an accident, perhaps because of those newer safety features. And of course, good driving habits, which hopefully you can teach.

KBREAMK
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Re: First car for child

Post by KBREAMK » Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:34 pm

I bought my new driver a 2007 F-150 for $10k. While my child has done well driving... they recently made a mistake and pulled out in front of a 2018 Toyota Corolla. The Corolla hit the back of the truck and while no one was hurt the Corolla is likely totaled while the F-150 only had minor damage. So, if you're looking for safety I'd stay away from small cars.

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